- College: Alabama
- Height: 6’1″ | Weight: 227 lbs. | Age: 22.2
- Archetype: Coverage Backer | Modifier: Hybrid-LB
- Games Watched 2022: Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Auburn
- NFL Draft Projection: Mid-Day 2
A four-star recruit from California, To’oTo’o chose Tennessee over Alabama initially. Rocky Top proved a wise choice, as he earned starting duties and All-SEC Freshman honors in 2019. To’oTo’o followed up his freshman success with another stellar season in 2020. Despite his strong play, the 2020 Volunteers went 3-7. Head coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired following the season, and To’oTo’o entered his name into the transfer portal.
I imagine it’s hard to say no to Nick Saban and Alabama once, but few say no again, given a second chance. To’oTo’o isn’t an exception, and after two strong seasons in Knoxville, he hit the ground running at Alabama. To’oTo’o registered over 200 total tackles in two years in Tuscaloosa and was a team leader and quarterback of the defense. After a strong 2022 season, many thought he would declare for the draft. Chasing a college championship brought him back to school, and while Alabama fell short of the CFB Playoff, To’oTo’o has remained static as a prospect.
Well-coached and experienced, To’oTo’o should adapt quickly to NFL terminology and game speed. However, he lacks size and athleticism markers indicative of a top-tier linebacker prospect. We’ve seen less talented athletes have success in the NFL. Why not let the tape decide? Let’s dig into his film profile and draft prospects.
An instinctive player with good eye discipline, To’oTo’o has a three-down skillset. An efficient tackler who is helpful as a coverage or blitz defender, To’oTo’o offers NFL teams well-rounded and versatile traits to develop. Despite a lack of size and overall physicality, he has the tools to play either middle or weakside linebacker at the next level.
To’oTo’o is not an imposing athlete. A lack of lower body explosion and general size limits Henry’s ability to use his momentum to knock over ball carriers. As a result, he has mastered wrapping his arms and rolling to make tackles consistently. However, this yields yards after contact, and getting stronger as he transitions to the NFL will be a point of emphasis for To’oTo’o.
Tackling consistency is tricky to demonstrate in the film space we have here. Instead of showing you 200+ tackles, here is one good form tackle against the best RB prospect since Saquan Barkley, Texas’ Bijan Robinson. To’oTo’o’s size concerns can appear when challenging blockers and tackling, but the Bama front does well to keep the picture clean here. Henry patiently fills the running lane and makes the play by attacking Bijan’s legs.
To’oTo’o’s best attribute is his ability to contribute on passing downs. Comfortable in zone assignments, spacing, and open-field tackling, Henry is an adequate pass defender. However, he shines most as a blitzer, especially when combined with a stunting defensive lineman. Accountable in zone-dog situations, To’oTo’o was a disruptive force for an Alabama team that uncharacteristically lacked premiere pass rush production outside of Will Anderson.
A pair of plays early in a closely contested game against the rival Tigers, the first an example of Henry’s ability on the blitz. Both lineman crash inside, and To’oTo’o loops around the right edge from the A-gap. QB Jayden Daniels barely gets the ball away and takes a hit from To’oTo’o in the process. The second play is third-down and a mile, and To’oTo’o sniffs out the screen. He pulls the rug out from under a cutting ball carrier in his patented manner. Simple, effective, but not violent.
Here is another example of To’oTo’o and a stunting defensive lineman creating confusion for SEC tackles. Terrified of #31 Will Anderson, the Auburn left tackle oversets, rushing to get to the edge, and the looping To’oTo’o blindsides him. While #77 is clearly off balance, To’oTo’o still does an excellent job of using speed to create power and eventually get to the QB.
We’ve mentioned the perceived weakness throughout our film study several times, a lack of athleticism and physicality. To’oTo’o did not test well for an athlete of his size, performing in the 24th percentile for burst metrics and the 59th percentile for speed. Despite his ability to sort through traffic, he has difficulty shedding and taking on blockers, indicating he may need to get stronger. In addition to physical limitations, for a player with the skillset and experience of To’oTo’o, it is disappointing to see the lack of turnovers he created throughout his collegiate career.
Sideline to Sideline
We’re throwing highlights into a weakness section of a rookie profile, and that’s because the ability to cover ground, regardless of testing, will not be an issue for To’oTo’o. While not a blazer (To’oTo’o ran 4.62 with a 1.57 10-yard split), nothing in Henry’s film profile indicates a player too slow to succeed at the next level.
I can’t imagine a better way to express this point than to see him track this draft class’s fastest ball carrier from A-gap to sideline. Devon Achane ran 4.32 by comparison at the combine. While To’oTo’o gives ground at the last second, an authentic depiction of his speed being fast-enough to survive an NFL that is only getting faster.
To’oTo’o is responsible for the running back, but with Alabama representing blitz, if RB Rashod Dubinion blocks, Henry is free to get involved in the rush. However, the Razorbacks catch Alabama out and leak Dubinion to the flats opposite To’oTo’o’s alignment. While a positive play for Arkansas, Dubinion is a freshman version of Devon Achane, and Henry can track him down before he can cause any significant damage. Perhaps not a testing marvel, there should be no sideline-to-sideline concerns for To’oTo’o.
Physicality & Ball Production
Unfortunately, here are where my concerns exist. Tackle production and ball production aren’t always, but most often are, correlated for linebackers. Despite massive tackle numbers, To’oTo’o only created one forced fumble over his four-year career and never recorded an interception in his time at Alabama. NFL defenses still need tacklers and players who operate well within a team structure. However, the lack of splash plays worries me for a player with Day-2 aspirations.
Additionally, I mentioned that To’oTo’o struggles to get off blockers and, despite consistent tackling, often gives ground to ball carriers. This lack of a strength and physicality profile concerns me as the league attempts to counter the revolution to undersized linebackers with more downhill running attacks. Fully rounding out Henry’s game will involve some hours in the weight room but is an attainable feat for a player who shows high effort and leadership onfield.
- Upside Prospect Comp: Eric Kendricks
- Floor Prospect Comp: Nakobe Dean
- Rookie Position Ranking: LB3 | DP5 Overall
- SuperFlex+IDP Draft Range: Mid-3rd through 5th Round
I have a high ranking on To’oTo’o for dynasty IDP leaguers, but his landing spot will be crucial for his likelihood of immediate success. The order will remain fluid until the draft, especially for tackling linebackers projected beyond the first 50 picks. However, without an incumbent starter, I expect To’oTo’o has the mental aptitude and physical ability to get on the field, perhaps wearing the green helmet dot, as a rookie. Assuming his lack of ball production holds, the most optimal scenario for fantasy success may come from him landing with a top-of-the-round NFL organization where he can pile tackles. Regardless of his landing spot, he will eventually start for an NFL team. To’oTo’o is a high-floor but possibly low-ceiling wager.
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